Holiday plays take center stage
Troupes' schedules are filled with classics and sprinkled with mash-ups.
David Allen Jones as "Scrooge," and Kate Danley and Frank Simons as the "Cratchits," in the Grove Theater Center production of a "A Christmas Carol." (Photo courtesy of Dallas Ocean / November 17, 2012)
The seasonal fare includes familiar fairy tales with British-style, comic “panto” tweaks; at least one “Nutcracker,” varied visions of “A Christmas Carol” and a mash-up of the animated TV classic, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and music by the Doors.
A Christmas Carol (A Noise Within, 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena). Geoff Elliott's all-new adaptation of the Dickens classic for family audiences, with original music by composer Ego Plum. Elliott and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott co-direct, and Elliott plays Scrooge. Opens 8 p.m. Dec. 8. Runs 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 2 and 7 p.m. Sundays. Ends with a 2 p.m. show on Dec. 23. $40 to $52. (626) 356-3100, www.anoisewithin.org.
A Christmas Carol (GTC Burbank, 1111-b W. Olive Ave., Burbank). GTC Artistic Director Kevin Cochran's new original adaptation tells the tale through Charles Dickens' words and just three actors — one plays Scrooge, while the others narrate and share the rest of the roles between them. 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays Nov. 30 through Dec. 16. $30 (Thursday shows are pay-what-you-can.) (818) 528-6622, www.gtc.org.
A Christmas Carol (Glendale Centre Theatre, 324 N. Orange St., Glendale). The theater's 47th annual presentation of Dickens' classic for family audiences. Adapted by Brenda Dietlein and performed by a cast of 27. Nov. 23 through Dec. 16: 8 p.m. Fridays, 3 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 1 and 5 p.m. Sundays. Dec. 18 through 23: 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 1 and 5 p.m. Sunday. Also 2 p.m. Dec. 24. $16 to $28. (818) 244-8481. www.glendalecentretheatre.com.
A Christmas Carol (Parson's Nose Productions, Lineage Performing Arts Center, 89 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena). Parson's Nose celebrates the Dickens classic in its engaging, signature readers' theater style. 7 p.m. Dec. 22, 2 p.m. Dec. 23. Pay-what-you-will. (626) 403-7667. www.parsonsnose.com.
A Christmas Twist (Victory Theatre Center, Big Victory, 3326 W. Victory Blvd., Burbank). SeaGlass Theatre's satiric mix of Charles Dickens' “Oliver Twist” and “A Christmas Carol,” by Doug Armstrong, Keith Cooper and Maureen Morley. For adult audiences. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 4 p.m. Sundays, Nov. 10 through Dec. 16. $30. (818) 533-8441. www.seaglasstheatre.org.
It's a Wonderful Life: A Radio Play (Missing Piece Theatre, 2811 W. Magnolia Blvd. Burbank). Theatre Unleashed's new adaptation of the holiday film classic is set at a struggling 1940s radio station. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, Nov. 30 through Dec. 15. For ticket prices and other info: (818) 563-1100, www.themissingpiecetheatre.com.
The Nutcracker (Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale). The Red Chair Children's Production Company's seventh annual performances of the classic holiday ballet. For all ages. 1 and 6:30 p.m. Dec. 9. $18 to $28. (818) 243-2539, www.alextheatre.org.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed ReinDOORS (Falcon Theatre, 4252 Riverside Drive, Burbank). Troubadour Theater Company's comic version of TV's holiday classic cartoon mixed with the music of iconic 1960s rock group the Doors. Recommended for ages 13 and up. 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, 4 p.m. Sundays, Dec. 7 through Jan. 13. Added shows: 7 p.m. Dec. 9, 16 and 30 and Jan. 6; 4 p.m. Dec. 22. $34.50 to $42. Opening night: $52 to $57. (818) 955-8101, www.falcontheatre.com.
A Snow White Christmas (Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena). A British-style panto with Neil Patrick Harris as the Magic Mirror, Charlene Tilton as the evil queen, Ariana Grande of Nickelodeon's “Victorious” in the title role, pop songs and pre-show courtyard activities. Choreography by Spencer Liff (“So You Think You Can Dance”). Presented by the Pasadena Playhouse and Lythgoe Family Productions. Gala opening, 7 p.m. Dec. 12. Regular schedule: 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 11 a.m., 3 and 7 p.m. Saturdays, Dec. 12 through 23. No performances Dec. 18 and 19. $22 to $72. Premium seating: $100. (626) 356-7529, www.pasadenaplayhouse.org.
The Snow Queen (Fremont Centre Theatre, 1000 Fremont Ave., South Pasadena). A world premiere musical romp in which the Widow Twanky, Kai and Gerda battle “the rather bumbling forces of darkness.” By Dale Sandlin and Steve Apostolina, performed British panto style with live music, loosely based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale. For adults and children. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, Nov. 30 through Dec. 23. $25. Opening night with champagne reception, $34. (866) 811-4111, www.fremontcentretheatre.com.
LYNNE HEFFLEY writes about stage and culture for Marquee.